The theme of “The Ugly Duckling” is the pursuit of one’s own identity, as opposed to adhering to societal norms. After a period of exploration, the duckling returns to his pond and discovers acceptance for who he is. Hans Christian Andersen wrote “The Ugly Duckling,” which was originally published in 1843.
At the beginning of “The Ugly Duckling,” a cat and a hen inform the duckling that no one would take him seriously unless he attains the same level of attractiveness as his contemporaries. They also imply that he must behave in a particular manner. Instead of adapting to what is expected, the duckling embarks on a period of exploration to see if there are others like him. This indicates that the theme is on a path of self-discovery. At this point in the narrative, children are given the encouragement to never give up.
At the conclusion of the story, the duckling returns to his birthplace as a lovely swan. Currently, he is the most admired animal in the area. It is made obvious that he has no influence over who accepts him, but that he does have power over how he responds to the situation. This emphasises the idea that youngsters should not give up on who they are while also suggesting that people eventually find acceptance for their authentic selves.